The learning plan
World Environment Day
Raise awareness to children about World Environment Day
Keywords: climate change, green energy, saving the planet, global warming, saving animals, recycle, reuse, reduce
Practise with children green living and thinking
Develop skills in taking care of the environment and themselves
Incorporate STEAM into children’s thinking
Methods and activities
What are you planning to do, and what methods are you using?
On the first day of World Environment Week, discuss with children through books, videos or ebooks about what they think about the Earth and the climate. For ages 3-4, we could ask children to draw their answers to the question prompts. For ages 5-6, you can play the Would You Rather (see below) question game. Here are some example question prompts:
What’s your favourite place on Earth to visit?
If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
What is your favourite season?
What’s your favourite thing to do outside?
How do we get our food?
What’s your favourite thing to do in the water?
Questions can be more specific about the country children are in. For example, in Colombia, there are over 2,000 species of birds, and its national flower, the orchid, discuss and explore with children the beauty of their own country.
What is affecting the future of our planet?
Why is it important to take care of our planet?
What makes the Earth happy or sad?
What’s one thing we can do as a kindergarten to create less rubbish/trash?
What can we do to save our planet?
“Would You Rather” question game with the students (Age 5 - 6)
How to Play: Ask students to move to different sides/colour/spots of a room depending on the choice they want to make.
Would you rather live in a solar powered house or live in a wind powered house?
Would you rather pick up garbage in the park or at the beach?
Would you rather ride your bike to school, take public transit or get a drive in a car?
Would you rather wear clothes made from 100% recycled materials or made from 100% plastic?
After the discussions, gather the information you have received about the children's perception of World Environment Day. You can adjust your plans for the next few days according to the children’s responses. Ask kids to bring one or two pieces of CLEANED trash from home e.g. plastic bottles, pringles cans, drawing paper, old clothes
What better way to teach about the Earth than to plant some flowers or vegetables inside the kindergarten with the children? Discuss with children how important nature is to the environment. Prompt them to think where the fruits and vegetables come from. Use recycled containers to contain the soil and plant different seeds. They could plant a flower seed so they could follow the growth of the flower, for example. Different groups can plant different things so they can see the difference in the pace of growth.
After appreciating the Environment, we can talk with the children about how to take care of the environment. We will collect rubbish in the kindergarten or outdoor environment that is safe. After collecting the used materials, ask the children to put the rubbish in the “correct” recycling containers: plastic, paper, tin/can, glass, biodegradable, mixed waste (non-recyclable).
Clean the recycled materials. Discuss with children what kind of things they want to make with the recycled materials, according to the materials found. Here are some examples:
Age 3: Making their own Material board - children can paint on the materials and create their own material board with the recycled materials. They can describe and play with the different textures.
Age 4: Making their own instruments
The kids could make different instruments, so they can make an orchestra together. See Resources.
Age 5-6: Making a vehicle or even a bird feeder out of recycled waste to promote STEAM.
After the activities, let the children enjoy playing with their own recycled inventions.
The fourth day is about protecting the Ocean. There is so much plastic pollution in the sea - let’s do an ocean clean up sensor play!
On the last day of the World Environment Week, children are encouraged to do their own storytelling on how to protect the Environment. They can do a virtual field trip of different National Parks, e.g. Koli National Park (Finland), Yosemite and numerous other national parks and wildlife preserves from your living room with virtual tours. Children are given different picture prompts to ask them how they feel about role-play or puppetry of one of the stories they have read. Discuss with children what they have learnt about World Environment Week.
Resources and materials
What are the resources and materials you need?
Ebooks from getepic.com (educators can sign up as a school and get access to ebooks and videos in different languages for free)
Baby Loves Green Energy by Ruth Spiro (Age 0 - 4)
Loony Little: The Ice Cap is Melting by Diana Hutts Aston (Age 3-7)
The Lorax by Dr.Seuss
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
A Whale’s Tale - plastic pollutants in the Ocean (Age 2 - 6)
Garbage Music Project - making music out of clean recycled materials (Age 3 - 6)
seeds (wildflowers, pumpkins, beans, peas, sunflowers, cucumbers - we could collect ask children to save these seeds from lunch ingredients)
soil - choose potting soil that's made for growing seedlings (do not use soil from your garden. Start with a fresh, sterile mix that will ensure healthy, disease-free seedlings. Before filling your containers, use a bucket to moisten the planting mix.)
recycled containers for planting: egg cartons, plastic bottle bottoms
Plastic Bottle Shakers: plastic bottles with lid, rice or beans inside
Easter Eggs Maracas: leftover plastic covers of Easter chocolate eggs, rice or beans
Chinese Gong: aluminium or plastic container with a big surface, two pieces of strings, one long stick, two chairs
Balloon Drums: used tin cans, deflated balloons, elastic bands
A big transparent container (around 40x20x20cm), blue dye (edible), water, trash of different materials plastic, newspaper, plastic bottle lid, recycled materials
Picture prompts digitally or on paper, e.g. globe, water, trees, trash. Computers for virtual field trips.
Which of these competences are covered and how?
Rich world of languages
Speaking and listening skills are practised through storytelling. Vocabulary and imagination can be activated by picture prompts.
Exploring and interacting with my environment
Exploring the natural world through the lens of recycling, reusing, preserving the environment.
Diverse forms of expression
The child expresses their creativity of their own choice - through music, STEAM, or arts and crafts.
I grow, move and develop
The child plants, recycles and goes on a day-trip. Both fine and gross motor skills are developed.
Which of these competences are covered and how?
Thinking and learning
Children's thinking skills develop throughout the week as they evaluate methods of sustainability, question stories, and build new knowledge from what they see from their surroundings and from their peers. Children are encouraged to ask questions and to question things.
Participation and involvement
World Environment Week starts with children's interests. Knowledge is built together through shared experiences. The adult is interested in children's awareness and starts building the week's content from there. Children are free to choose what they describe and what kind of things they want to recycle from the recycled materials.
Multiliteracy and competence in information and communication technology
Children will learn many new concepts through visual literacy, numerical literacy and They will learn about new and different environments through virtual tours, photos and videos.
Taking care of myself and managing daily life
Being sustainable, such as recycling, planting, reusing, being aware of and taking care of the environment is a huge part of taking care of oneself and managing daily life.
Cultural understanding, interaction, and self-expression
Children are guided towards kindness for taking care of the Earth. They are encouraged to listen to each other and analyse personal values.